I have found that romance is a controversial subject among Christians. In these next three posts, I would like to tell you what I believe, why I believe it, and why I apply it to reading and writing. I do not intend this to be a putdown of any differing convictions you may have, and I hope that you will comment with your thoughts; I only want to have my personal beliefs written down so that there will be no confusion about how I approach the books I read and the stories I write.
So the question that many single people ask is, “How much romance is ok for me to have before I am married?” I think the answer is very plain. None.
Let me tell you a story, paraphrased from the book Before You Meet Prince Charming by Sarah Mally:
Once upon a time, you, a servant of the King, are entrusted with a gift. The King gives a gift to each of the other servants as well. You are all instructed to guard each of your gifts carefully and, when the time is right, to find the perfect person who will receive your gift. Well, you eventually notice that some of the servants are sharing their gifts with each other. They are taking bits and pieces from each other and giving bits and pieces away. You are now faced with a choice; will you give your gift to just anyone or will you save the whole thing for the only, right person, as the King instructed you to do?
The King is God, your Creator, and the gift is your heart.
Do you desire to have a godly, wonderful marriage? Do you desire to please God with your life? God desires the very best for you. He has given you a wonderful gift meant to be given away. We, as humans, are meant to love and be loved.
This is where the dangers are. Because God has given us the freedom to give this gift away, we can easily abuse it.
Dating, for example, is a classic pitfall for giving away your heart and your purity. Consider this; dating is a cycle during which you give away pieces of your gift. You meet someone, you date and, if you do not really like them, you break up. If you do fall in love with the other person, you give your heart away and are crushed when they leave you for someone else. The cycle goes on. Now let’s compare dating and divorce. I was once told that dating is “practice” for divorce. That makes sense, doesn’t it? Dating does not prepare you for a life-long relationship; it encourages you to have fun when you want it regardless of how it affects other people.
But you do not even have to be “officially dating” to give your heart away, or to unintentionally steal the heart of another. There are many ways to fall into the trap. The simple flirtatious glances, the misleading flattery, the huge runaway crush. Before you know it, you have fallen in love with someone who may or may not truly love you in return. You have given your heart away.
Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our hearts. But what is the best way to do that? What is the alternative to the world’s alluring way? For fear of losing all interest on this rather long post, I will continue in part two tomorrow.
Post Tenebras Lux!